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ERIC Number: EJ820274
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Molecular Handshake: Recognition through Weak Noncovalent Interactions
Murthy, Parvathi S.
Journal of Chemical Education, v83 n7 p1010-1013 Jul 2006
The weak noncovalent interactions between substances, the handshake in the form of electrostatic interactions, van der Waals' interactions or hydrogen bonding is universal to all living and nonliving matter. They significantly influence the molecular and bulk properties and behavior of matter. Their transient nature affects chemical reactions and the effectiveness of chromatographic separations and is of central importance in biological processes. In some cases, the collective effect of a large number of these weak interactions determines properties, and, in others, it is the specificity of the interactions that is of significance. Molecular recognition through weak noncovalent interactions is contributing to research in chemical genomics, drug discovery, and materials design. The goal of the undergraduate chemistry curriculum is to teach students to understand the relationship between molecular structure and composition of matter and its properties. The current undergraduate chemistry curriculum incorporates the concepts of weak noncovalent interactions in a limited and sporadic way. Consequently, the students do not get the broader picture of the nature and influence of these interactions on the properties of chemical and biological systems. This article traces the development of our thinking about molecular recognition through noncovalent interactions, highlights their salient features, and suggests ways for comprehensive education on this important concept. (Contains 1 table and 5 notes.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A